The story you are about to hear is true. The name has been omitted, mostly so I don't get in trouble.
On Friday when I came in, my boss told me "you probably aren't going to get much help from the office at St. Paul today". St. Paul is this island that's about 20 miles wide way out in the middle of the Bering Sea. It is one of the most isolated places in Alaska. There is a little town of about 200 or 300 people there, but you can never ever get away from them. The weather is gray and rainy or snowy probably 300 days a year, and windy as hell probably 250 days a year. It is one of the most wretched places on earth.
Anyway, so I said "What's up with St. Paul?" Well, apparantly, on Thursday night, our office stopped getting weather observations from them. So they IM'd the forecaster, but he never responded (which is typical at any site, these guys are usually watching t.v. or something). Then the balloon launch data never came in. So our office tried to call theirs......and never got an answer. They called the guy in charge (at home, at 4 a.m; you can bet how that went over) and told him "hey, we can't get ahold of your guy".
Well, the boss guy went out to the office, and found out that no one was there. The forecaster's coat was still there, but the gov't vehicle was missing and all the weather equipment was smashed! So the boss guy called the police, who called the federal marshals since there was gov't property involved, and started looking for the forecaster.
Apparantly, sometime between 2 and 4, this guy freaked out. I mean, freaked out. He beat the observing equipment and the balloon launching equipment (expensive although outdated scientific stuff) with a fire extinguisher, drove to the Coast Guard station, bashed in their equipment, and then went home. Because, really, where else are you going to go after you go on a rampage on an island that's 20 miles wide? So the federal marshals arrested him and sent him on a plane back to Anchorage.
And that's all we know. It's a court case now, so no one can really talk about what happened. What the hell makes someone snap like that at 2 a.m.? I kind of imagine it went something like this "Dum de dum dum.....I'll just tie the string on the weather balloon now.....oh no, it broke.....AND WE'RE OUT OF STRING! THIS GODDAMN PIECE OF SHIT! I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!" *violent crashing and banging accompanied by the Psycho theme song*
The weirdest part is that he was actually scheduled to go on leave this week to get married. Um, think that wedding is off? I told E that if he wants to bail on the wedding, that he should do it now and not let me know by rampaging against the weather observing equipment.
Don't you wish you had my job?